WHAT IS THATAt the Community level, various types of Quality Systems have been established aimed at recognizing and identifying quality products through Community and national brands / logos, which provide for the control and certification by specifically authorized third party and independent bodies (CB).
At a national level, the National Quality System for Integrated Production (SQNPI) and the National Quality System for Zootechnics (SQNZ) have been recognized to date .
Voluntary integrated pest management is a system implemented through specific technical standards for each crop and binding phytosanitary indications (production specifications), including agronomic and phytosanitary practices and limitations in the choice of phytosanitary products and in the number of treatments.
The SQPNI has actually been operational since January 2016 and is applicable to all vegetable productions (transformed and unprocessed) and allows the use of a brand on the product subject to certification.
To underline the possibility of adopting the SQNPI even only for a farm crop.
KEY POINTSThe SQNPI provides:
- The definition of National Guidelines which represent a guiding tool aimed at an ever greater harmonization of the regional "Technical Standards", in compliance with the climatic/environmental, cultural and phytosanitary peculiarities that distinguish the various agricultural areas of the Italian territory. They indicate the intervention criteria, the agronomic solutions and the strategies to adopt for the defense of the crops and the control of the weeds, with a view to a lower impact on man and the environment, allowing to obtain economically sustainable productions. In order to ensure compliance with climatic/environmental peculiarities, each Region can differentiate its own technical standards from the guidelines, motivating the choices
- the adoption of regional integrated production specifications (approved by MIPAAF) and the implementation of a rigorous traceability system aimed at demonstrating that the certified products come from farms that apply the aforementioned specifications
Companies can join the SQNPI individually or in associated form (e.g. Consortia, Cooperatives, Associations). In addition to farms , air conditioners, processors and distributors (in the case of products sold in bulk) can also join the SQNPI.
The reference Technical Document for operators interested in entering this Quality System and enhancing their integrated productions is represented by the DPI of their region , in fact an "equivalence regime" has also been established between the regional quality systems of integrated production, and the SQNPI (DM 8 May 2014).
THE CONTROL SYSTEM
The SQNPI provides for a double level of control aimed at demonstrating the application of the regional integrated production specifications in various stages of production: from the agricultural stage, to transformation, packaging and identification of the finished product through the hallmark "Sustainable quality".
The control system is developed on two levels:
- Company self-monitoring which provides for the verification of compliance requirements by the operators included in the SQNPI for the activities carried out at their production sites (e.g. registrations of cultivation operations, purchase and use of plant protection products, invoices for the purchase of plant protection products, fertilizers, soil analysis results, soil analysis, calibration result of sprayers, etc.)
- Control by OdC specially authorized by MIPAAF. The check is carried out on 100% of the participating operators in single form while in the case of the associated operators the initial visit is foreseen on a sample corresponding to the square root of the associated companies
ADVANTAGESThe SQNPI was conceived by MIPAAF to become a competitive tool , aimed at enhancing and differentiating products on the market. The ministerial hallmark "Sustainable quality" is therefore able to ensure the consumer the cultivation of products according to agronomic techniques that respect the environment and human health .
Integrated production according to the SQNPI allows:
- to comply with the legal obligations regarding integrated defense (PAN)
- to respond to the pressing requests deriving from a national and international market that is increasingly attentive to cultivation methods.
The SQNPI - precisely because it is a quality system recognized according to EU rules - also allows farms in single form or in associated form to access public funding measures (e.g. Measure 10 or Measure 3.1 of the PSR).
The brand can be used free of charge by all operators in the European Union , including in the categories of producers, conditioners, packers and distributors who adhere to the SQNPI and make use of it aimed at distinguishing exclusively the productions obtained in compliance with the standard of this system and certified by the certification bodies.
The SQNPI trademark can also be used in combination with private or collective trademarks that qualify the product on the basis of different standards as long as there is no confusion in the consumer.